Origins have been bringing alternate sounds to Birmingham for the last few months, and last night they played host to vinyl specialist Kahn for a special 2 hour wax only session. With the weather outside absolutely ruthless, only true heads braved the snow to come down and see this real treat. Support on the night came from local artists, K1 and Justify holding down the 140 sound, with Goosensei, Elkie & Sprite playing a more varied bass music selection.
For this smaller night, Origins moved from their usual home of Lab 11 to the more intimate venue ‘The Hare & Hounds’, a small complex of rooms hidden away in the back streets of Kings Heath on the outskirts of Birmingham. This location gave the night the perfect relaxed vibe it needed, with a smaller crowd of people and a really nice homely feel. One issue I’ve had with venues recently is the lack of care towards the sound; few venues appear to take enough time to ensure the audio that they are providing is of the highest quality. At the ‘Hare and Hounds’ it was apparent from the moment we arrived that they take their auditory situation very seriously. With crisp highs and pounding lows, a relatively small rig provided a really nice clear weighty sound ideal for the night’s artists.
The night started with the residents and locals, with Elkie & Sprite up first followed by a strictly vinyl dubstep set from K1, who provided a nice journey through dubstep old and new, showcasing the best weighty sounds in the business. Goosensei was up next with an interesting twist on UK bass music, I caught the end of their set and it was a really interesting watch. Justify warmed up for Kahn, playing the newest and best in darker dubstep, opening with ‘Walter White’ is always a sign of a good set, and Justify did not disappoint. As Justify was finishing, the crowd reached it’s peak size of probably under 100 people, and although this may not of been the turnout Origins were hoping for, it was the perfect amount of people to have a really nice relaxed evening and the vibes were spot on.
I have seen Kahn numerous times before, both vinyl and non-vinyl sets and he always plays a huge variety of music which represents the flexibility and diversity in the music he not only supports, but also produces himself. With releases varying from hard-hitting grime bangers such as ‘Percy’ or ‘Chevy’; to his darker more minimal dubstep release on Deep Medi, all the way to his latest project ‘Gorgon Sound’ with Neek, So I knew the tune selection for the evening was going to be both diverse and interesting. He started slightly slower than his usual bpm, with a selection of interesting grime inspired 130 pieces, some vocal some not, but all heavily bass driven none the less.
As his set progressed, he stepped up the tempo and moved into more of his dubstep pieces, playing both ‘Late Night Blues’ and ‘Dread’, which got their usual huge crowd reaction. We were also treated to a few newer tunes, which I was pleasantly surprised to find out Kahn has already had pressed to vinyl. Not only did we get pieces from Kahn’s self-titled forthcoming black box EP, including ‘Bad Man City’, with Flowdan’s vocal accompaniment, but we were also treated to Commodo’s remix of Mala’s all-time classic ‘Miracles’. It was especially surprising to be hearing such a rare dubplate played in a vinyl-only set. Kahn is really dedicated to ensuring he can provide an equally good set when using either CDs or vinyl and this is a cause few DJs are dedicated to nowadays.
Towards the end of his set, Kahn moved into what may well be one of his favourite fields of music; pounding energetic grime, with piercing synths and heavy bass lines. I don’t normally hunt down grime on a night out, and apart from the few tunes by Kahn that I know I would rarely listen to it on my own. However, last night was a turning point for me and with grime probably dominating at least half of Kahn’s set; I was shown a journey through high energy grime. One of my favourite tunes to hear out at the moment is ‘Fierce’ and despite being released and featured in a number of sets I’ve seen, it will always be a highlight of any night out. Along with countless songs I didn’t know, Kahn also dropped a new remix of ‘Percy’’, a tune which has seen numerous rebuilds and still remains to be a classic in the grime scene.
This night was well worth battling through the elements for; with a brilliant venue and sound system and an optimum sized crowd all well up for the music and smiling start to finish. It was a really nice environment to enjoy an extended set, from a guy who can really provide 2 hours of fresh sounding unique music. Origins should be pleased with their continuing success in providing the newest in bass music to an area that really doesn’t seem to appreciate it! Keep an eye out for upcoming events from these guys!
Written by Michael Thomas
Images from ‘Sentient Visuals’.
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